An Old House Left to Fall on Its Own

The Skeleton House | Banks County, GA | c. 1890s

James built this house around 1890 where he lived with his first wife, Gerushia. They would have 10 children together.

After she passed away in 1903, James married again, this time to Lillie. They would have 3 children, one of whom, also named Lillie, lived here through the 1960s.

Upon her death, she deeded her farm and cemetery to a church. She didn’t wish for the home to be modernized so she asked that they keep the home and property clean, but not restore it so it could fall on its own.

At one point, the church held private classes here but now, it’s mostly empty, except for one room used as storage.

And although it’s missing its porch, windows, doors, and many of its interior walls, the charm and elegance are still apparent. Besides the school chairs you see here from the days when the church had a preschool, all you’ll find here is a committee of vultures.

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18 thoughts on “An Old House Left to Fall on Its Own”

  1. That’s awesome! I grew up right next to it next road over as ur going into maysville! Wow! I love all your stuff! This is my dream! Love history! So glad I got to read on this! Always wondered about. That house!

  2. What a nice house. I find it interesting that the owner didn’t wish for the home to be modernized so she asked that they keep the home and property clean, but not to restore it so it could fall on its own. Thanks for the post.

  3. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want their home to be taken care of so it could be a home to families for years to come. I’m sure it was a beautiful home in its day. Seems like the county would make them repair it or demolish it, not let it fall on it’s own. I enjoy seeing your pictures and reading the stories. Wish I could purchase all of them and fix them up and make them liveable again.

  4. I can’t help but think it such a selfish request. “if I can’t have it, no one can..”. Why not just ask to have it torn down instead of be an eyesore. I think after the people that gave the “ok, we’ll take it” from the church died off, then the church should have salvaged what was there for SOMEone to enjoy history.. or the land. Just my opinion. But no wonder Lilly was an old spinster. I’m sure she had to be alone, lonely and therefore eccentric just a tad. We can’t take it with us. Be a giver for the good, there is such rich reward when we do!

  5. Love it! I reminds me very much of the house that my great grandparents built. It’s incredible how long homes last when built through blood, sweat, and tears.

  6. that beautiful fireplace needs some lovin! what a shame that these historic properties just leave us – never to be replaced.

  7. She wanted it returned “from whence it came”. I could understand that, that is how the people that live in Alaska do. Once they die they let the earth reclaim their cabins and in 50 or so years no one will even know there was a cabin there. In some areas of Alaska they are not allowing anymore habitation atfter the oldest child of the present owner passes on.

  8. I had two great aunts in rural GA whose homes looked identified…..I sooo loved visiting them….old beautiful painted oil lamps…gorgeous crocheted and tatted doilies on the furniture….the back porch with the fresh water from the well(a dipper hung from a nail, and there was an enameled wash bowl with a soap dish for washing your hands.)There was a smoke house, a chicken house with its own yard, and the well with the pump.
    The yard was HARD RED DIRT…. I got to sweep the part that had leaves where it was SOFT RED DIRT

  9. That fireplace!! Beautiful! Was there fancy woodwork around the upper portion? Seems wood missing at the same level completely around the house.

  10. Wow! I’ll bet this was one spectacular home when it was new! And that fireplace! Imagine all the Christmas gatherings over the years! I’m sad that it was left to “fall on its own”, when it could’ve been loved & maintained over the years & provided a warm home to other families.

    Thanks for your research & photos! I love learning about these old beauties!

  11. Honestly I’d go against her wishes, and restore this old beautiful house, for my family. I born and raised in a house that was built it the 1700’s and was once used an a hospital during the American Revolutionary War. The house sat on 300 acres of land, and had a huge natural lake a short walking distance behind. I would love to once again live in an old home.

    1. You didn’t happen to live in Troup county did you that sounds just like the house I grew up down the road from

  12. Wonder if it was a weird jealously thing— like she didn’t want it to be fixed up if it could have been her father’s dream home with his first wife? Just a thought. I think someone should fix it up. Maybe Gerushia would have wanted it loved and lived in

  13. So many people say how rude of her, but none of you know why. Having it modernized a lot of times take away the charm. This is history. I’m THANKFUL her wishes were kept. It’s called respect. Let nature take back what is hers, NOT what you want.

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